There are a number of types of organization within the beauty industry. Some are associations of schools and educators, and others are groups that tie together salons, spas and other beauty businesses. Some are organizations dedicated to product creators, manufacturers and distributors. Others are trade associations that encompass specific niches within the beauty business. Still others are ethnicity-based, and some are based on geographic area. Regardless of your interests and passions, there is likely a professional organization that fits your unique style and goals.
Professional beauty organizations are excellent tools to network with other professionals in your line of work. Becoming a member creates key opportunities to continue your education in the field through workshops, seminars and conferences, but also simply by sharing ideas and experiences with others who share your passion for beauty services. Professional associations in the beauty business have been known to do government advocacy and disseminate information about changes in laws, to organize and present educational events to members with speakers and platform artists who have wisdom and experience to share, to do philanthropic outreach and fundraising for various charitable causes in the community, and much more.
Whether you are considering beauty school, currently enrolled in a cosmetology program, a recent graduate, working professionally in the field already, or even running your own salon business, being a member of a professional beauty organization can be a valuable networking tool to make connections in the business, and an opportunity advance your education in the beauty community. Beauty Schools Directory has compiled a comprehensive list of the most reputable organizations to consider, and even recommended a number of LinkedIn groups, so you can start to make connections and expand your influence.
Memberships to these groups are typically at an individual level, or at a business or school level. Some organizations even offer discounted memberships to students currently pursuing their education in any of the beauty trades. Aside from the extremely valuable networking you can do within a professional organization for cosmetology, there are numerous members-only benefits that come with memberships in various beauty organizations. For example, the educational events hosted are often not available to the outside public, or members may receive substantial discounts. Also, there are often product giveaways, marketing opportunities and educational industry guides available only to registered members. There is also opportunity to expand your influence within a trade association by joining committees or campaigning for an official position on the board of an association. The annual dues paid to beauty associations are generally very small compared to the amount of knowledge and networking you stand to gain from becoming a member of these organizations. Not to mention, it looks great on a cosmetology resume to show that you are expanding your influence and being active in the community
One of the most widely recognized associations in the beauty education industry is the American Association of Cosmetology Schools, otherwise known as AACS. They are a national non-profit association open to all privately owned schools of cosmetology arts and sciences. AACS specializes in updating its members with information about new beauty teaching methods, current beauty industry events, and Washington, D.C. law and licensing updates pertinent to the industry. Most of this updating is done through a series of seminars, conferences and conventions held throughout the year. For those schools that are accredited and those that participate in Title IV funding, AACS lobbies Congress and the Department of Education aggressively to protect the interests of proprietary schools.
Joining networking groups on LinkedIn can be another valuable way to make connections in the beauty business, though they aren't quite as "official" and don't carry the same prestige as a becoming a member of a professional organization. Being a member of any LinkedIn groups for beauty professionals is not something you would add on your resume, and there are many groups that get reduced to merely platforms for vendors to spam group members with attempts to make a sale. But there are many that still preserve high quality conversations and connections by moderating who can and can't join the LinkedIn group. There is still plenty of value to be gained from participating in authentic, authoritative, credible beauty networking groups on LinkedIn. Here are a few of the LinkedIn groups we feel are valuable for students, educators, professionals or businesses in the beauty industry: